Life Sciences

Undisclosed drug industry ties prompt tighter JAMA policies

Pharma Compliance Alert, July 19, 2006

Authors of a recent study failed to disclose their financial ties to pharmaceutical companies and as a result, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is tightening its conflict of interest policy for authors.

Although several of the authors of the study in question, "Relapse of Major Depression During Pregnancy in Women Who Maintain or Discontinue Antidepressant Treatment," have financial ties to the industry, only two disclosed those ties when the study was published in February, reports The New York Times. JAMA printed a correction in its July 12 issue listing the full disclosure statement. The authors are consultants, receive grant support, and are on speaker bureaus and advisory boards for companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Wyeth, Sepracor, and others.

The authors responded via a letter to the JAMA editor, saying that at the time, they "did not view those associations as relevant to this study" for a number of reasons, including that it was a federally funded and prospective observational study. However, in retrospect, the authors say they regret that they failed to include the disclosures.

As part of its new policy, JAMA "will begin requiring all authors to disclose all potential conflicts of interest in the acknowledgment section of the manuscript at the time of submission." Read the updated policy here.